On Friday we visited The Natural History Museum. We have visited many times before and it is one of my favourite places in the world. But this visit was a bit different. Dippy the iconic Diplodocus skeleton cast who has greeted visitors in the grand Hintze Hall since 1979 (longer than my whole life) has been replaced with a new skeleton, Hope, a 25 metre blue whale
The blue whale is the largest animal ever known to exist. They were hunted nearly to extinction by whalers from the late 1800's through the first half of the last century. Their number fell from 300,000 + down to around 300 (just 0.15% of their original numbers) by 1966 when the international ban on blue whale hunting was imposed. Today we estimate around 10,000 live in our oceans with a 7% increase each year.
Hope is suspended from the ceiling and looks like she has just swam in through the grand windows behind her. Despite my reservations that Dippy could not be replaced, I must admit she is rather spectacular. Since 1934 she has been part of the museum collection, partially displayed in the mammals gallery until 2015 so you may have glimpsed her before. But in her new home the sheer scale of her size is breathtaking.
However, the kids are not impressed. They miss Dippy. Luckily Dippy will be seen again! He is currently undergoing restoration then will be off on a national tour from the beginning of 2018. So it looks like we are going to have to hunt down him down to get another hit of the dinosaur who has enchanted so many, young and old, throughout my lifetime.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.